Freshman running back Christopher Leigh runs the ball during the 150th rivalry game against Lafayette in Yankee Stadium on Nov. 22. Leigh scored Lehigh's only touchdown of the game in the third quarter. (Andrew Garrison/B&W Photo)

Scheuerman, Leopards dominate Hawks in Rivalry 150 game

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In one of the most historic games in Lehigh football history, the Mountain Hawks were routed in front of 48,256 fans at Yankee Stadium.

It was the 150th game these two teams played against each other, more than any other match-up in college football history.

Lehigh couldn’t get anything going on offense and got run over on defense as it lost to rival Lafayette College 27-7.

After getting more than 300 more yards than Lehigh in the first half, Lafayette outgained the Mountain Hawks 500-232 overall. It was Lehigh’s lowest offensive output of the year.

Lehigh held its own for most of the first quarter, but Lafayette eventually drove 14 plays for 93 yards down the field, which culminated in a 1-yard touchdown by senior running back Ross Scheuerman.

Scheuerman was dominant all game, running for more yards than Lehigh’s offense had overall. He gained over 250 total yards in the first half and 357 overall on the way to the Leopards’ win. His 304 rushing yards in the game was a Lafayette single-game record.

Scheuerman scored another one-yard touchdown a few minutes later in the game to put the score at 14-0. Lafayette then rode that momentum onto the defensive side for a stop, then a two-play drive right after it, capped off by a Scheuerman 79-yard scamper into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game.

Three-and-outs were a regular event for Lehigh’s offense. The offense punted eight times and gained just 13 first downs. The eight punts was tied for a season high for Lehigh after it punted eight times earlier in the season against University of New Hampshire.

Sophomore quarterback Nick Shafnisky struggled to gain much on offense. After a 30-yard pass to senior wide receiver Josh Parris on Lehigh’s first offensive play of the game, he finished with just 44 passing yards in the first half and 81 overall.

It was Shafnisky’s lowest passing total in a game of the year and the first time he passed for fewer than 100 yards.

The duo of Shafnisky and senior running back Rich Sodeke was shut down on the ground as well. Sodeke ran for 28 yards on nine carries while Shafnisky gained 50 yards on 22 carries.

But freshman running back Chris Leigh was able to break free in the third quarter for a 70-yard rushing touchdown to cut the lead to 14. It was Lehigh’s first and only score of the entire game.

Lafayette sealed the victory after a 23-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 21 again.

Freshman wide receiver Troy Pelletier, who has had a breakout season in his first year, had just three catches for 25 yards, but the lack of passing from the Mountain Hawks overall played a big part in his lower yard total.

Playoffs were out of the question for both teams, but Lafayette got the last laugh for the second year in a row against Lehigh. The rivalry will continue next year back at Goodman Stadium in Bethlehem.

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